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  • FIRST POST
    • familyguy321
    • By familyguy321 15th Feb 17, 10:20 PM
    • 45Posts
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    familyguy321
    Tariff whilst switching suppliers
    • #1
    • 15th Feb 17, 10:20 PM
    Tariff whilst switching suppliers 15th Feb 17 at 10:20 PM
    Hi,

    I would like to clear up some confusion about the switching process as I have been given conflicting information.

    I am currently on the BG collective fix ending on 28th Feb. I have started my switches to separate suppliers for Gas and Elec. Both are due to be completed after 28th Feb (most likely 2nd week of March).

    My question is: what tariff will I be on from BG between 1st March and my new supply date?

    Some people have said BG has to honour my current tariff until I switch, whereas others have said I will be on the standard tariff.

    FG
Page 2
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 16th Mar 17, 5:05 PM
    • 1,086 Posts
    • 598 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    Update to the update:

    Two call handlers knew nothing about it.
    One incorrectly passed me to Sainsburys energy
    The Final call handler did not know anything about the policy, until I quoted their policy to them. They then went away and came back, now aware of the policy.

    The resolution was....from what they said......that for some reason the transfer was stopped and restarted the day before the tariff ended, this "confused" their system into thinking I had not applied for the switch in time.

    Hence, the small final bill (after the tariff ended) was not charged at the same rate as my fix.

    (I had actually applied for the tariff on the 18th (or maybe 20th) of Feb, which should have been enough time for some notification). The process is also usually a lot faster/smoother with it being Sainsbury's (British Gas) energy.

    As a gesture of good will they have manually recalculated the bill for the 9 days at the cheap fix rate, which equated to about £5 saving. They have credited this to the account. It won't produced a revised final bill.

    Apparently, if that random error had not occurred, then I should have been billed at the cheap rate automatically.

    I am not convinced by this argument.

    It seems to me their staff are not properly aware of the policy and their systems are not processing it properly.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 16-03-2017 at 5:20 PM.
    • Femstar
    • By Femstar 16th Mar 17, 8:39 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    Femstar
    British Gas seems to have done the same to me. Used the web form to contact them earlier. Stated OFGEM regulations and their own T&Cs and this was their response...

    "I’m sorry for the confusion that was created due to standard tariff being mentioned on your final bill.

    We have closed your energy account on 13 March 2017. The Collective Fix February 2017 tariff was registered on your account and the tariff end date was 28 February 2017. After the tariff end date, your energy account automatically gets registered on standard tariff.

    Please be assured, that we have billed your energy account to collective fix February 2017 until 28 February 2017. You can refer to page 2 and 3 of your bill, where we have calculated your account from 12 February 2017 to 28 February 2017 on collective fix rates that is 2.73p (gas) and 8.35p (electricity). The standard tariff rate was used to calculate your bill from 1 March 2017 to 13 March 2017 and the rates were 3.67p (gas) and 11.96p (electricity)."

    I've emailed them again...
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 16th Mar 17, 10:13 PM
    • 1,086 Posts
    • 598 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    I would try and speak to them on the phone. It is an 0800 number.

    It took a few tries to speak to someone who was prepared to understand what I was talking about and then go away to check with a manager.

    It seems none of the staff are aware of the policy.

    Even in my instance, they did not admit fault. They applied the "gesture of good will" solution, which in my mind is always a way of resolving the issue without admitting liability.

    I wonder how many of the customers this applies to.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 16-03-2017 at 10:19 PM.
    • Annabee
    • By Annabee 17th Mar 17, 12:23 AM
    • 566 Posts
    • 416 Thanks
    Annabee
    I too was on the Collective tariff which ended 28 February, and I am switching away to another supplier (the changeover is happening 20 March). Having vaguely heard of it on this site, I did enquire of British Gas about keeping the old tariff until the move via their messaging service and got this reply:

    About your tariff:

    The Collective Fix tariff February 2017 ended on 28 February and your account is now registered on our Standard tariff. Its unit per rates are 3.71p for gas and 12.28p for electricity and the standing charge is 26.01p. I'm sorry, the previous tariff was only applicable until 28 February 2017, further you'll be charged as per the Standard tariff.

    In my case the period covers nearly 3 weeks, I wonder if it will be worthwhile to take this further, as you all seem to be saying they're wrong?
    • Annabee
    • By Annabee 17th Mar 17, 12:28 AM
    • 566 Posts
    • 416 Thanks
    Annabee
    I am also wondering why they are quoting me a slightly higher price than Femstar for the standard tariff. (eg 12.28p for electricity, compared to her quoted 11.96p) Is it that there are different rates for different geographical areas? I am East Midlands.
    Last edited by Annabee; 17-03-2017 at 12:30 AM.
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 17th Mar 17, 2:14 AM
    • 1,086 Posts
    • 598 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    I too was on the Collective tariff which ended 28 February.....In my case the period covers nearly 3 weeks, I wonder if it will be worthwhile to take this further, as you all seem to be saying they're wrong?
    Originally posted by Annabee
    It depends, I think there is a clause that means that the switch had to be actioned or they had an initial instruction before the tariff ended.

    Edit: This is incorrect - See below

    Is it that there are different rates for different geographical areas? I am East Midlands.
    Originally posted by Annabee
    Yes, indeed there are.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 18-03-2017 at 12:10 AM.
    • thighst
    • By thighst 17th Mar 17, 3:40 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    thighst
    Got my final bili from extra energy - my tariff ended 31st jan and from 1st feb - 22feb they have switched me to their std tariff, standing charge is 4 times my fixed tariff - worked out its about £20, they also owe me £75 for switching confusion (agreed £50- took 5months to sort in jul - which they apoligised for not giving me so in dec raised it to £75 and they have still not given me-guess i can kiss goodbye now - but they have not met me - freinds call me the new martin lewis - got £44 from virgin for loss of supply for 1 day(not bad!) from the switch issues from npower to them the previous year

    Will use ofgem document below and update here

    24.9
    In relation to each Fixed Term Supply Contract, unless the Domestic Customer has entered into a new Fixed Term Supply Contract with the licensee or paragraph 22C.5 of standard condition 22C applies, the licensee must ensure that where paragraph 24.10 applies a Domestic Customer will continue to be subject to the same Charges for the Supply of Gas and the same terms and conditions (but not any Termination Fee) that applied to that Fixed Term Supply Contract until they have changed their supplier.

    24.10 This paragraph applies where one of the following conditions are satisfied:

    (a) no later than 20 Working Days after (but not including) the date on which the fixed term period of a Fixed Term Supply Contract ends, the licensee receives Notice under the Network Code by way of the Relevant Gas Shipper that another Gas Supplier will begin to supply the Domestic Customer’s Domestic Premises within a reasonable period of time; and

    (b) another Gas Supplier begins to supply the Domestic Customer’s Domestic Premises within a reasonable period of time after the date on which the Notice referred to in sub-paragraph 24.10(a) is given; or

    (c) where:
    (i) the conditions in sub-paragraphs 24.10(a) and (b) are met; and
    (ii) the Domestic Customer has paid any Outstanding Charges within 30 Working Days after the Domestic Customer receives Notice that the licensee intends to prevent the Domestic Customer’s Proposed Supplier
    • c_smith
    • By c_smith 17th Mar 17, 3:53 AM
    • 345 Posts
    • 115 Thanks
    c_smith
    It depends, I think there is a clause that means that the switch had to be actioned or they had an initial instruction before the tariff ended.
    Originally posted by CashStrapped

    I wonder how that fits in with the 14 day cooling off period that applies when you initiate a switch? Same thing has happened to me. Switched to iresa on 14th February, but the 14 day cooling off period meant they didn't action it until 1st march. Just got my final gas bill through from BG and I've been charged standard rate from 1st march. Electricity still not transferred yet but i expect it will be the same.
    • thighst
    • By thighst 17th Mar 17, 4:09 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    thighst
    Hi C smith
    It took extra energy almost 1 month for final bill switch 23feb final bill 16mar - Zero c/service - now with Co -op! anyway switched from npower - extra energy & saved £500 now switched to co-op & saved £200 so in 2 years was £1600 now £900!This year did through topcashback via freepricecompare got £36 cashback +fress tastecard for a year - not bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 17th Mar 17, 8:40 AM
    • 3,982 Posts
    • 2,241 Thanks
    Hengus
    I wonder how that fits in with the 14 day cooling off period that applies when you initiate a switch? Same thing has happened to me. Switched to iresa on 14th February, but the 14 day cooling off period meant they didn't action it until 1st march. Just got my final gas bill through from BG and I've been charged standard rate from 1st march. Electricity still not transferred yet but i expect it will be the same.
    Originally posted by c_smith
    The important date for the old supplier is when they are notified through the Network that a transfer is in progress. as you say, Iresa does nothing during the 'cooling off' period; however, if your switch ended on the 1st March it is 100% certain that BG was informed in time for the tariff protection to kick in. I would raise a complaint.
    • c_smith
    • By c_smith 17th Mar 17, 1:00 PM
    • 345 Posts
    • 115 Thanks
    c_smith
    The important date for the old supplier is when they are notified through the Network that a transfer is in progress. as you say, Iresa does nothing during the 'cooling off' period; however, if your switch ended on the 1st March it is 100% certain that BG was informed in time for the tariff protection to kick in. I would raise a complaint.
    Originally posted by Hengus
    Thanks Hengus. I maybe wasn't 100% clear on what I meant.

    I submitted an application to transfer from BG to Iresa on 14th February. At 0017 hours on 28th February, after the 14 day cooling off period, I received an email from Iresa saying they had initiated the transfer to them from British Gas. I then got an email from BG at 2302 on 1st March acknowledging the transfer and giving me dates of 13th and 19th for gas and electricity transfers respectively.

    Do you think then I have a case given that Iresa confirmed on 28th that they had initiated the transfer?
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 17th Mar 17, 1:09 PM
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    CashStrapped
    This is the key paragraph

    24.10 This paragraph applies where one of the following conditions are satisfied:

    (a) no later than 20 Working Days after (but not including) the date on which the fixed term period of a Fixed Term Supply Contract ends, the licensee receives Notice under the Network Code by way of the Relevant Gas Shipper that another Gas Supplier will begin to supply the Domestic Customer’s Domestic Premises within a reasonable period of time;

    I am trying to decipher if this means that if they should receive notification up to 20 days after the tariff ended, the tariff should be maintained.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 17th Mar 17, 1:39 PM
    • 3,982 Posts
    • 2,241 Thanks
    Hengus
    This is the key paragraph

    24.10 This paragraph applies where one of the following conditions are satisfied:

    (a) no later than 20 Working Days after (but not including) the date on which the fixed term period of a Fixed Term Supply Contract ends, the licensee receives Notice under the Network Code by way of the Relevant Gas Shipper that another Gas Supplier will begin to supply the Domestic Customer’s Domestic Premises within a reasonable period of time;

    I am trying to decipher if this means that if they should receive notification up to 20 days after the tariff ended, the tariff should be maintained.
    Originally posted by CashStrapped
    I believe that your last sentence applies. Indeed, this is how E.oN interprets the SLC as posted many times on this forum by Malc and Helena. I confess that I haven't read BG's ts and cs and contractually it would need a lawyer to advise on what has the greater standing in law: that is, does a contract t and c trump a SLC?
    • c_smith
    • By c_smith 17th Mar 17, 1:44 PM
    • 345 Posts
    • 115 Thanks
    c_smith
    I've just emailed BG and told them i've been incorrectly billed from 1st March, asking them to review and revise it.
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 17th Mar 17, 2:08 PM
    • 1,086 Posts
    • 598 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    Indeed @c_smith, if you quote 24.10, it does seem to suggest, that even if notification is within 20 days after the tariff ended, the tariff should be maintained.

    The problem is that none of the British Gas call handling staff I spoke to were aware of it as a policy.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 17-03-2017 at 2:12 PM.
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 17th Mar 17, 2:52 PM
    • 1,086 Posts
    • 598 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    Update:

    As this was an issue regarding Ofgem policy, I rang them to speak to their policy enforcement team. They were very interested what I had to tell them.

    They were pretty clear that we are correct in our interpretation of the policy. They intimated they would look to formally clarify the policy with the company in question.

    As I resolved my issue over the phone, I had no correspondence to forward to them.

    If you have correspondence of Britsh Gas misinterpreting the policy, I would forward it to ofgem along with a letter explaining the issue.

    Don't ask Ofgem to deal with the complaint. That is not their job. Do that individually with British Gas.

    But....write an email raising concerns that British Gas are not following ofgem policy and you wish to make them aware. That, they are interested in.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 17-03-2017 at 3:58 PM.
    • c_smith
    • By c_smith 17th Mar 17, 3:15 PM
    • 345 Posts
    • 115 Thanks
    c_smith
    I'll wait and see what there response is to my email and then forward it to Ofgem if there's a contradiction of policy. I quoted BG's own terms and conditions and mentioned that it was as per the Ofgem "price protection window" policy, but I didn't actually quote the Ofgem document as I don't know and couldn't find what the document is actually called. I'm aware it's sections 24.9 and 24.10.

    If someone could clarify this and ideally provide a direct link to the document in question, I'll quote it if I receive a negative response from BG.
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 17th Mar 17, 3:23 PM
    • 1,086 Posts
    • 598 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/102056

    Page 38/39 - Termination of a domestic supply contract. Points 24.9, 24.10 etc
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 17th Mar 17, 4:48 PM
    • 1,086 Posts
    • 598 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    The problem is that if British Gas is not applying the correct charging policy when switching, and only correct the issue if a complaint is raised (and even then reluctantly), it is a pretty serious issue, both now and for all future (and indeed past) switches.

    Anyone who has this issue should flag it with Ofgem as the policy needs to be re-clarified with some companies.

    A resolved complaint will usually just stay internal.

    My resolution for example will not even be logged as a complaint as it was resolved as a gesture of good will, i.e not our fault but here is the money anyway.

    So, to clarify, even if a company gets notification of a switch after a fixed tariff has ended. As long as it is within 20 days of the tariff ending, you should be charged for any use during the switching process at the original fixed tariff rate and not a standard rate.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 17-03-2017 at 8:21 PM.
    • SnowMan
    • By SnowMan 17th Mar 17, 5:29 PM
    • 3,111 Posts
    • 5,779 Thanks
    SnowMan
    Update:

    As this was an issue regarding Ofgem policy, I rang them to speak to their policy enforcement team. They were very interested what I had to tell them.

    They were pretty clear that we are correct in our interpretation of the policy. They intimated they would look to formally clarify the policy with the company in question.

    As I resolved my issue over the phone, I had no correspondence to forward to them.

    If you have correspondence of Britsh Gas misinterpreting the policy, I would forward it to ofgem along with a letter explaining the issue.

    Don't ask Ofgem to deal with the complaint. That is not their job. Do that individually with British Gas.

    But....write an email raising concerns that British Gas are not following ofgem policy and you wish to make them aware. That, they are interested in.
    Originally posted by CashStrapped
    I contacted OFGEM a number of days ago. They were quite helpful and seemed to think that 24.9 should be interpretated as we all think it should. They said they were passing it to their compliance team and asked me to forward BGs response to my complaint when I received it to help as evidence as to what BG policy is.

    It's great that you have now done the same, the more who do that, the more OFGEM should realise this is a real issue of overcharging (and it appears to me to be blatant and deliberate overcharging, but that's just my view based on how it appears from this thread, and that is something that OFGEM should look at also to see if that really is the case or not)
    Last edited by SnowMan; 17-03-2017 at 5:37 PM.
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